Mets fans, you know what day it is, July 1 means the franchise pays Bonilla another $1.19 million in deferred salary.
Today, July 1, as it has been for the last nine years and will be for the next 15, is unofficially Bobby Bonilla Day.
Why, you ask?
Because today is the day that Bobby Bonilla — who hasn’t donned a Mets uniform since 1999 — receives a $1.19 million check from the Mets as a part of the (brilliant) deal that his agent made with the team. The way the deal is structured, Bonilla will continue to be paid $1.19 million until 2035, at which point he will have been paid out the entirety of his multi-million dollar deal.
Here’s the scoop on how the deal works, courtesy of Dan Mullen at ESPN.
“In 2000, the Mets agreed to buy out the remaining $5.9 million on Bonilla’s contract.
However, instead of paying Bonilla the $5.9 million at the time, the Mets agreed to make annual payments of nearly $1.2 million for 25 years starting July 1, 2011, including a negotiated 8% interest.
At the time, Mets ownership was invested in a Bernie Madoff account that promised double-digit returns, and the Mets were poised to make a significant profit if the Madoff account delivered — but that did not work out.”
The Madoff account of course, did not deliver, leaving the Wilpons in a financial bind. Regardless, Bonilla’s deferred contract isn’t the only one in Major League Baseball, in fact, they have become more popular in recent years. Mullen notes that Bonilla actually has a second deferred contract from the Mets and Orioles that pays him $500,000 a year for 25 years beginning in 2004.
The franchise also agreed to a deferred contract plan with pitcher Bret Saberhagen that began in 2004 and pays the pitcher $250,000 every year for 25 years.
Other franchises have deferred contract plans as well with the Washington Nationals set to pay pitcher Max Scherzer $105 million in deferred payments through 2028 and the Boston Red Sox paying Manny Ramirez $24.2 million total through 2026.
So, another Bobby Bonilla day is here, with the countdown until the deferred payment plan is up now sitting at 15 years.